Guide to Smart Home Speakers

Today, smart home speakers are one of the hottest category when it comes to technology. It sure is fun and relaxing to listen to music at home once in a while and we usually use speakers so we can hear our favorite songs loud and clear. But with smart speakers, you will be able to do more than that. Smart home speakers are capable of responding to voice control because they have the brain of either Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, or Google Assistant.

You can ask smart speakers to play a song or your favorite playlist. Aside from listening to music, you can use smart home speakers to turn on your lights, set a reminder, or even ask a question. There are even some which can read you a book and change the channel on your TV.

The function of a smart speaker will depend on which AI it has inside it. It’s because Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant work in different ways using different apps and services. For example, Alexa and Google Assistant both work with Spotify Connect, and TuneIn Radio.

Core Features of Smart Speakers

There’s not official industry standards when it comes to smart speakers but the label is being applied to audio devices which have the following features.

  • Compact Size: Most of the smart speakers on the market come in small sizes which can be placed anywhere around the house.
  • Music Playback: Like any other speaker, smart speakers can playback music but they are not designed the same way. Instead of connecting them to a stereo or home theater receiver, they are self-contained powered speakers. Though there are large wireless speakers that can give more volume like the ones on MusicCritic, but they are not designed to give a full-blown performance that wired ones do.
  • Internet: Since it’s a smart device, a smart speaker can connect to the internet through your Wi-Fi network at home. There are specific apps for a smartphone or PC that are needed to be downloaded for you to see the guide in setting the speaker up. Once they are connected to the internet, they will be able to stream music online.
  • Voice Control: Smart speakers usually have one or more built-in microphones that will allow you to speak commands that they will follow.
  • Home Assistant: Aside from using it to play and stream music, a smart speaker can also be used as a home assistant. You can use it to access your TV, thermostat, and lights at home.

Advantages of Having a Smart Speaker at Home

If you want to buy a smart home speaker but asking yourself at the same time why you need one, here are some of the advantages you can get from it.

  • Convenience: A smart speaker is easy to install and use. You can easily place it anywhere at home and you just need your voice for it to operate. Meaning, there’s no need for you to search for a misplaced remote control.
  • Listen to Music Flexibly: With the use of a smart speaker, you will be able to replace your clock radio and compact music system. Also, you will no longer drain your smartphone’s battery when you’re at home because of streaming music to a Bluetooth speaker or home audio system. Just turn on your smart speaker and listen to any music you want.
  • Sound Quality: When it comes to audio playback quality, there are many smart home speakers that can rival traditional music systems and other kinds of home speakers.

Things to Consider When Buying a Smart Home Speaker

Before purchasing a smart speaker, there are some things that you need to consider first for you to know which of the smart speakers available is the perfect one for you. To help you, here are two important things you should look into on smart home speakers.

Choose Your Ecosystem

When deciding on a smart speaker, you should think about which digital tribe you belong to. Is it Amazon, Apple, or Google? When you choose Amazon, there are a wide variety of smart speakers on the market that can work with Alexa. Google on the other hand has been developing additional device integration recently. And Apple’s HomePod is the newest smart speaker on the market. However, some testers say that it lacks the full Siri experience.

This factor will depend on what you’re fond of using. For example, if you’re deeply embedded on the Apple universe, then getting their smart speaker might be the best choice for you.

Listen Carefully

Of course when shopping for a speaker, it’s best to choose one that has a high-quality sound. This means that when choosing, you should listen carefully on each option and decide which one for you sounds the best.

The Best Smart Speakers for Your Home

Where to Buy
Sonos One
Amazon Echo Spot
Ultimate Ears Blast
Sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker
LG ThinQ Speaker WK7

If you’ve decided that you really want to purchase a smart speaker for your home, we can also help you find the best one by giving you options. Here are some of the best smart speakers for you home.

1. Sonos One

This is Sonos’ debut Alexa speaker. It is cleanly-designed and comes with a lot of features and sounds great as well. Its new feature is the AirPlay 2, allowing it to talk to Siri and form a multi-room pairing with the Apple HomePod.

This smart speaker has six built-in microphones that will pick up your voice. You can also pair two of these speakers for true stereo sound or link it with other Sonos speakers if you want a whole-room audio. It can also work with Spotify. Once you have this smart speaker, you will be able to control all your other Sonos speakers with your voice.  It is one of the most well-specified and versatile smart speakers on the market.

2. Amazon Echo Spot

This is the best-designed Alexa device that Amazon has ever made and you will surely love to have it on your desk, in your bedroom, on the kitchen counter, or anywhere you like to listen to music. It is a versatile smart speaker, however, it is a little more expensive. Aside from using it to listen to music, it can also be used as an alarm clock, and since it has a screen, you can also use it to access video chat.

3. Ultimate Ears Blast

This is a portable Bluetooth speaker and a smart speaker at the same time. Alexa is included when you purchase this speaker. But even if you’re away from home or a Wi-Fi network, this smart speaker can still function well and give you excellent sounding music. It is also a waterproof speaker, meaning, you can also take it with you when you travel for example to the beach.

Though it is a portable speaker and a smart speaker combined, it’s voice recognition is not as good as other options. If you want a smart speaker that you can also take with you when you travel, then this is a great choice. But if you’re looking for one that will be used at only at home, then you might want to look at other options.

4. Sonos One (Gen 2) – Voice Controlled Smart Speaker

Experience ‘brilliant’ sound from this second generation Sonos One smart home speaker that you can control with your voice, the Sonos app, Apple AirPlay2, and more. It runs with Amazon Alexa making you play music, check the news, set alarms, and get your questions answered in no time and all of these are completely hands-free! 

Due to its compact design, you can place this smart speaker literally anywhere in your house. You can even put this speaker in your bathroom because it is humidity-resistant. For more detailed sound, you can pair two Sonos Ones (Gen 2) smart speakers and get that distinct stereo sound that you would always love to hear.

5. Apple HomePod

This is the newest smart speaker on the market and it is best for those who are Apple products enthusiasts. Meaning, if you’re a fan of Apple, then this could be the best smart home speaker for you. The Apple HomePod is an excellent speaker because it boasts incredible sound and it is very easy to set up. However, it somehow lacks the full Siri experience.

6. LG ThinQ Speaker WK7

If you’re fond of using Google Assistant but you’re looking for a better sound, then this is perfect for you. This is LG’s very first smart speaker and it is partnered with an audio brand Meridian. It also has a built-in Chromecast and an expansive and detailed sound that you will definitely love listening music from.

7. Google Home Max

Among the options, this is probably the best-sounding smart speaker. It features four Class D amplifiers and drive two 4.5 inches aluminum cone. It also has high-excursion woofers with dual voice coils. If you’re looking for a smart speaker that can fill larger rooms with sound, then this is a great choice for you. You can even pair two of this for stereo.

Smart speakers can definitely level up the entertainment we get when listening to music at home. Aside from that, some of them can also be used as helpful smart home. We hope the information and products we shared will help you find the perfect smart speaker for your home.